From Harvard Business Publishing comes the thoughts of John Quelch on how to market in a recession.
While there are several great points in the article, a few of them are specifically applicable to Software-as-a-Service. For example, our web-based project management software, Intervals, has grown significantly by focusing on the following items from the article:
- Research the customer.
We’ve been doing this for 9+ years, long before the first lines of code were every typed out onto a keyboard. We had the fortunate circumstance of being our own customer, and having worked alongside many design and development agencies in our history hasn’t hurt either. We knew then and we know now what customers want in an online project management app. And we are continually engaging our customers in dialogue to find out as much as we can about them. After all, they are our number one priority.
- Maintain marketing spending.
This is just a given. We’ve always earmarked a portion of our budget for advertising and will continue to do so. The flip side to maintaining marketing spending is that as your competitors cut back on spending, your message becomes heard more prominently, for the same price. In addition, media will become cheaper to buy as advertisers become more desperate to fill their ad space.
- Emphasise core values.
Again, this is something we’ve done from day one. It got us through the recession after 9/11, and it will get us through this one. We are a team of designers, developers, managers who are committed to not only to a product but to one another. We’ve been like a family for the last nine years and that has come through in our voice and in conversations with our customers. Our core values are honesty, integrity, and helping others overcome the same challenges we’ve already solved. And we’ll continue to uphold those core values as we move onward and upward.
The one excerpt that resonates most with us at Pelago is this:
Consumers will be poorer or feel poorer. They will be more frugal and cautious in their expenditures. Reassuring the consumer, holding her hand in a “we’re going to get through this together” manner is a vital ingredient of successful marketing during a recession.
Recession or no recession, this has been our commitment to our customers since day one. And we will continue to walk alongside our customers moving forward, getting you through your business struggles by sharing with you our own experiences.